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View Poll Results: Do you believe rape culture exists?

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  • Yes

    47 72.31%
  • No

    18 27.69%
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  1. #211
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    <.<

    >.>

    I am going to attempt to speak very precisely about this topic that strongly resists anything resembling precision.

    Do the various phenomena that get classified under "rape culture" exist? Yes. Most definitely.
    Does a "rape culture" exist? Well, this question sounds precise, but it is intentionally vague, though not due to the OP being intentionally vague. The term "rape culture" is deliberately, intentionally vague and intellectually dishonest. Some have already mentioned that it's intended to get people emotionally worked up, and that is so, but even without the emotional impact, it would remain a slippery concept at best. Why else would "belief" be questioned, here?

    There are lots of terms like this, but they are usually combined with the word "social", e.g.,
    • social science, which cannot really be scientific
    • social justice, which is more about what one would prefer to be justice, not about justice itself
    • the social contract, where no contract of any constitutional or legal sort exists


    "Rape culture" is used much in the same way as "social contract" is used. When someone starts using the "social contract" to make their points, it's a weird combination of straw man and argument by authority, in that one posits a fake authority that happens to say whatever you want to say. With "rape culture", it means whatever the speaker wants it to mean at the moment, which is why it is such a catch-all topic of the issues women have with men in general. Just as there is no real contract involved with the "social contract", "rape culture" isn't really about rape. Rape is an easy topic. Everyone is against rape. "Rape culture" would seem to imply that there is a culture that promotes rape, cf. senza's comments, but you know it isn't about rape when all of these other topics, such as harassment, victim shaming, sexist remarks, etc., are involved,too. "Rape" is just being used as a teaser word for these topics, and as a rhetorical weapon against any apparent disagreement.

    Again, are these other issues legitimate? Entirely legitimate, and worthy of discussion. "Rape culture" is an intellectually dishonest obfuscation of the discussion: the people who deny that there is a rape culture do so precisely because our society condemns rape, but then all of these other (entirely legitimate) issues are brought up and classified as rape culture. Surely if the definition of "rape culture" is these issues, then rape culture must exist. What, you don't think rape culture exists? Then you are a PART of the rape culture, and you are the reason that we must all discuss the rape culture. Oh, and by implication, you are in favor of rape. These very legitimate issues are used to make "rape culture" seem like a legitimate topic.

    But there is no way it can be a legitimate topic, because we're calling it "rape culture". There wouldn't be such a flurry on the topic if it were called something tame, such as "harassment culture" or "women's issues" or "sexism".

    That is not to imply that those discussing this topic here are being intentionally dishonest. It has been, in fact, remarkably honest, and we've had a long, productive discussion of the topics under the umbrella of rape culture, which hasn't even begun to turn into a flame war. Rather, I am saying that the term "rape culture" is why people are having a difficult time discussing it at all, why it raises hackles and makes people wary of entering the discussion at all, and I'm rather impressed at the quality of discussion in spite of it all.
    The vagueness of calling anything X-culture when the standards are; trivialization, denial, excuse and prevalence is a slippery slope. As I've pointed out in prior posts, this can be applied to quite a lot of societal ills, real and perceived.

    The term 'rape culture' originated in the 1970s during the second wave feminist movement and is often used by feminists to describe contemporary American culture as a whole." ~ Rape culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The problem is the application to the whole or majority and calling it "culture". It takes away from the real discussion that could be taking place.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #212
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Lagged and double posted, oops.

    Carry on.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #213
    Ginkgo
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    I created this thread with the intent for people to bond over their experiences but one thing I failed to keep in mind was the possibility that some people might actually feel inadequate knowing that some people receive unwanted sexual attention while they don't receive any. Obviously, that's not to say that rape is often envied, but it is to say that even outside of the political disparities here, feelings of alienation, resentment, and interpersonal incongruity can occur.
    @uumlau I appreciate your input. I think the term can be used as a rhetorical devise, muddling and even minimizing the significance of what the term "rape culture" was initially meant to denote. Typically, when you're on the receiving end of a rhetorical argument, you're expected to be shouted down, censored, shamed, or force-fed ideas that venture into the territory of memes. The net result is that in settings like that, nothing is really learned and the orator undermines the same progressive schemes they claim to profess. At best, they only affirm the beliefs of listeners who already support their own position, which doesn't count as progress in my books. Even if you look at it from the angle that holds confidence in the educational power of punishment, studies show that positive reinforcement and encouraging incentives tend to alter behavioral patterns more quickly.

    And while I'd rather not look at this from the perspective that revolves around social engineering, there is something to be said about the power of words; as you said, this conversation hasn't turned into a flame war and I honestly have the mods to thank for that. Your blue names really do have a passive, but potent effect on the amicability of a discussion.

    At the end of the day, though, I do think there's an alternative to the war of social engineering that might deploy a term like this, but it depends on the individual's ability to critically think and arrive at their own conclusions. There is something to be said about victim-blaming, but it doesn't have to be thought of in terms of a binary context. On one hand, a person shouldn't be held accountable for unwanted attention they receive, but on the other, they should be held accountable for exercising sound, decent judgment in compromising situations. It can be a daunting tightrope to walk, but not impossible if you don't let feelings of panic trip you up. I've seen, first hand, how victim blaming backfires - it can be about as useless, inflammatory, and counter-productive as the rhetoric you're critiquing.

  4. #214
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    This post will mostly focus on Brazil, for those looking for a more global perspective. Admittedly, it isn't an unbiased perspective (neither is yours, so please take some deep breathes before replying; getting mad at me and saying I'm part of the problem won't solve anything).

    Here, it's not uncommon for drunk men to grab random women, in clubs and music shows, and start making out with them. It's a form of sexual assault with minimal criminal consequences, but chances are the guys who see that will beat the shit out of the attacker, providing he's outnumbered and not too strong.

    Here, rapists get lynched all the time. Seriously, a quick Google search will show that. In prison, their lives are hell, and human rights folks are much more likely to defend murderers/torturers/robbers than to defend a rapist. They get zero sympathy. And no, I'm not saying this to draw attention to their suffering and divert your attention from the victims' suffering - I'm just showing that my culture despises rapists more than anything.

    That's why I wouldn't agree with the existence of a rape culture. That said, our justice is fairly lenient when it comes to other forms of sexual harassment.

    As objectively as I can state it, I think the problem with how modern societies treat rape can be broken down into:

    a) A lot of rapes are occuring
    b) It's an horrendous crime (pretty much everyone agrees)
    c) Yet, not many rapists are getting imprisoned for it
    d) Rape is the hardest crime to prove
    e) Almost all the charges are real, but a minority is false
    f) Many people still have a narrow view of what constitutes rape
    g) People will resist acknowledging people they know as rapists

    A good solution would ideally take all these facts into account.

    $0.50

  5. #215
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    I created this thread with the intent for people to bond over their experiences but one thing I failed to keep in mind was the possibility that some people might actually feel inadequate knowing that some people receive unwanted sexual attention while they don't receive any. Obviously, that's not to say that rape is often envied, but it is to say that even outside of the political disparities here, feelings of alienation, resentment, and interpersonal incongruity can occur.
    @uumlau I appreciate your input. I think the term can be used as a rhetorical devise, muddling and even minimizing the significance of what the term "rape culture" was initially meant to denote. Typically, when you're on the receiving end of a rhetorical argument, you're expected to be shouted down, censored, shamed, or force-fed ideas that venture into the territory of memes. The net result is that in settings like that, nothing is really learned and the orator undermines the same progressive schemes they claim to profess. At best, they only affirm the beliefs of listeners who already support their own position, which doesn't count as progress in my books. Even if you look at it from the angle that holds confidence in the educational power of punishment, studies show that positive reinforcement and encouraging incentives tend to alter behavioral patterns more quickly.

    And while I'd rather not look at this from the perspective that revolves around social engineering, there is something to be said about the power of words; as you said, this conversation hasn't turned into a flame war and I honestly have the mods to thank for that. Your blue names really do have a passive, but potent effect on the amicability of a discussion.

    At the end of the day, though, I do think there's an alternative to the war of social engineering that might deploy a term like this, but it depends on the individual's ability to critically think and arrive at their own conclusions. There is something to be said about victim-blaming, but it doesn't have to be thought of in terms of a binary context. On one hand, a person shouldn't be held accountable for unwanted attention they receive, but on the other, they should be held accountable for exercising sound, decent judgment in compromising situations. It can be a daunting tightrope to walk, but not impossible if you don't let feelings of panic trip you up. I've seen, first hand, how victim blaming backfires - it can be about as useless, inflammatory, and counter-productive as the rhetoric you're critiquing.
    creating a bonding experience 101: don't pick a controversial topic.

    I have no qualms with the creation of this thread, but if that was your intention, lolz @Fe fail
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  6. #216
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    creating a bonding experience 101: don't pick a controversial topic.

    I have no qualms with the creation of this thread, but if that was your intention, lolz @Fe fail
    My Fe blows.

  7. #217
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    My Fe blows.
    it's cool. you're talking to the guy with the worst Fe on this entire forum
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  8. #218
    Ginkgo
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    FTR, even if there are people who use the term memetically, I believe this exists, and it's not good enough when someone only holds themselves to the standard of "Oh, I'm not a rapist, so it's not my problem."

  9. #219
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    creating a bonding experience 101: don't pick a controversial topic.
    Or at least don't ask if the controversial topic exists, because then people will start saying it doesn't, and then it won't be a safe space to open up anymore.

    Maybe next time it could go in the Support and Advice subforum?

    Don't get me wrong, though. I think this discussion has been productive and remarkably civil, all things considered. So it's good that it happened the way it did.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


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  10. #220
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    FTR, even if there are people who use the term memetically, I believe this exists, and it's not good enough when someone only holds themselves to the standard of "Oh, I'm not a rapist, so it's not my problem."
    Thank you. Personally, I don't care what we call it. I'm not married to the term "rape culture." It's a lot shorter than "atmosphere in which rape victims are often discouraged from reporting in all but the most extreme cases of stranger rape and rape perpetrators are often excused while the victim is interrogated as if he or she is the criminal and also lesser instances of assault and harassment are considered no big deal" or whatever. But I am a little weary of being told that my concern for the world my daughter AND my son are growing up into is laughable because it's so much worse in third world countries. My daughter is fucking fourteen years old, and has been subject to torment on the bus from a couple of older boys who seem to think she'll be flattered, not threatened, when they tell her they'd like to "pop one" in her ass. But boys will be boys, right?

    I actually kind of get a sinking feeling when terms like "rape culture" and "privilege" and whatever start getting traction really fast on social media- because the nuances will be lost on most people.

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